Tampons = danger: is this expression true?

The tampons or are they dangerous? Myth or reality ? These little pieces of cotton Are they completely harmless? Dangers, risks, diseases, do the tampons we use during our periods represent dangers for our health ?

These last years, Press articles, investigations et scandals alerted on the Ingredients certain hygienic protections. The use of tampons has been called into question.

Are tampons really dangerous for our health? What are the risks concrete when using tampons ? Is there a way to use them properly? What hygienic solutions can we replace them with? What are the alternatives healthier and more interesting for women or teens ?

Louloucup is looking today at this big question and trying to provide some answers.


The tampon, a very widespread internal hygienic protection not without risk

The stamp is, or rather was, a hygienic and periodic protection flagship, used by many women and young girls during their menstruation. It's about a internal hygienic protection which is inserted at the entrance to the vagina to block the menstrual flow so that it does not leak.

The small pad opens on contact with the flow. Very absorbent, it becomes full of blood and can be removed using a protruding cord.

Very practical, many women use tampons for various reasons:

  • to save money, a box of tampons is inexpensive,
  • they don't have to see blood, some can't stand the sight of blood,
  • tampons are ideal for a pool session or an afternoon at the beach, because they allow you to swim without the risk of leaking.

However, their composition is criticized. It's simple, brands and manufacturers were, until very recently, not required to justify the composition of tampons. So, women used protection every month without knowing what exactly they were inserting into their vagina.

Disposable tampons: a composition criticized and called into question

For several years now, as we have known, it has been found in tampons and classic sanitary napkins of harmful chemicals and toxic substances for the woman's body and her intimacy.

Traces of dioxins, pesticides, halogenated derivatives, phthalates, derivatives ofaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are particularly present in tampons and napkins. Of chlorine dioxide is also used to whiten tampons.

These harmful substances even in tiny amounts are cause for concern and can accumulate cycle after cycle in the vagina. THE dangers are therefore real for the the vagina and the privacy of women.

These worrying chemical compounds may have carcinogenic effects, mutagens ou reprotoxic. They are also considered endocrine disruptors.

The raw materials of the tampons would be the main cause. The cotton and cotton derivatives used to make tampons are said to be poisoned by pesticides.

Add to this the chlorinated agents to whiten the pad. The presence of PAHs (hydrocarbons) which are normally found in diesel engines or even cigarette smoke can be explained by the packaging methods. 

Sanitary tampons: what are the health risks?

The composition of the tampons is distressing. What are the concrete health risks? What are the risks of using a tampon?

Irritations, allergies, drying

Chemical substances found in tampons can cause disruption of the vaginal flora. For the most sensitive women, they may notice irritation and burning.

Wearing a tampon can also cause dryness and intimate and vaginal dryness.

Tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

Le SCT ou toxic shock syndrome is a rare but serious infection that occurs in women who are menstruating. This syndrome can only develop if the woman is a carrier of S. aureus bacteria. You should know that not all women have this bacteria in them.

This bacterium from the family Staphylococcus aureus can “wake up” in a very specific environment: blood that has stagnated for too long in the vagina. It is a perfect environment for this bacteria which will release TSST-1 toxins. These toxins will then target the organs and can have very serious consequences: vital organs affected, limb amputations, death.

As you will have understood, the bacteria develops if the blood is not evacuated regularly. A tampon that remains lodged in the vagina can therefore be the origin of a toxic shock syndrome. This is why it is essential to change your tampons very regularly, ideally every 4 hours.

As for the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, they are similar to those of the flu or gastro, so you must be careful: headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, muscle pain.

What should we remember about toxic shock?

Periodic tampons: tips for use

Some tips for using a tampon safely:
  • read the instructions for use carefully;
  • wash your hands thoroughly before and after inserting and removing a tampon;
  • change them regularly and respect the time of use : no more than 4 to 6 hours ;
  • do not sleep with a tampon;
  • do not wear a tampon as a precaution. You have to wait until you have your period. 

Effective, economical and practical alternatives to tampons

If the tampon seems, despite the scandals, unbeatable, equally practical alternatives exist! Washable sanitary napkins, teen period panties or, You can wear a menstrual cup, sustainable, responsible, healthy and eco-friendly hygienic protections exist and are increasingly accessible.

These greener alternatives are above all more reliable and healthier for your health while being really efficient and very absorbent. With their completely transparent compositions, their organic raw materials, labeled and certified, you make a more conscious choice, more responsible and more respectful for your body.

To choose the right protection, you must first know yourself and your menstrual flow. This allows you to choose the most suitable protections and the right absorption capacity.

To help you choose the best menstrual panties according to your profile, your flow, your habits, you can refer to our articles:

You appreciate internal protections and you would like to know more about our Loulou menstrual cup made in France, very soft and super easy to wear? You can find a lot of information by reading our articles:

To avoid any risk of SCT, to say no to controversial substances, to finally respect your vaginal flora, say a big yes to sustainable and responsible protection.